A Seasonal Infatuation? Fat Bike
It’s a seasonal infatuation. At least, that’s what I’ll have to tell my other bikes when I introduce…Fat Bike. I’m still a newbie to the sport that involves smashing bulbous 4 to 5 inch tires through every condition of snow, and man is it fun! Prerequisites to wielding this 23 – 40 pound (depending on how much you want to pay) beast around is a desire to be outside in the fresh air.
Snow biking is a fire stoker guaranteed to crank up your body temp on any wintery day. It beats the indoor trainer doldrums and is an extremely effective workout.
Dress the part: remember you’re going to be outdoors and the conditions (and your body temperatures) will / can change dramatically. It’s easy to overdress and overheat. It’s wise to bring some extra dry / warm layers.
Hydrate: be sure to bring water & energy snacks with you
Remember: Getting a flat is possible. Have a plan.
The Fat Bike scene is exploding with the telltale signs being the growing number of bike improvements, sales, events and ride-able terrains. This past weekend, I attended Rossland’s first Fat Bike Fest, which saw an impressive turn out of keen riders of all styles and backgrounds. Congratulations and thanks go out to Revolution Cycles.
Whether you’re a biking enthusiast looking to bridge the winter gap, a keen skier looking to switch up your activity of choice on substandard snow days, or a nature lover of any variety looking to play during the slushy pre/post winter changeover times, Fat Biking could easily be for you. Of course, the Fat Bike extends well beyond the winter months with the bike’s ability to roll over sand (and pretty much any kind of bumps in your way). It’ll be exciting to watch the uses of the Fat get pushed into new realms.
It’s worth a try! If you’re in the Montreal area, Le Yeti provides Fat Bike rentals.
A couple of upcoming events in the Montreal area(ish) to get you motivated:
February 15, 2015 – Oka Quebec LE GRAND FAT TOUR
February 28, 2015 – BIKE ACROSS LAC ST JEAN (30 km)
February 27-March 1, 2015 – Kingdom Trails, Burke, VT (various activities and free fat bike demos) WINTERBIKE
Where to Fat Bike:
Velo Quebec has provided this list of the official centres that allow Fat Biking in Quebec. (Please be sure to contact the centre before your departure).
Mont Rigaud: Mountain bike trails are now accessible in the winter and are groomed by snowmobile. Prices are the same as in the summer.
Parc de la Gorge de Coaticook: 10 km of trails have been packed down for practicing. Bike rentals available by calling in advance.
Sepaq – Oka National Park: Fat Biking is permitted on the pedestrian foot trails and snowshoeing trails only, with the exception of the cavalry section. Fat Biking is forbidden on all of the cross country ski paths.
Sentiers du Moulin: Paid access is allowed on the snowshoe paths and the cross-country ski trails (not those for skate skiing). Helmets are mandatory.
Centre National de cyclisme de Bromont: Certain paths have been packed down by snowmobiles to permit Fat Bikes to circulate.
Gentilly River Park, Sainte-Marie de Blandford: Fat Bike has been permitted for the first time this year. Paid access.
Mont Lac-Vert, Hebertville: 10 km of paths are maintained for practicing Fat Biking. Free access. No bicycle rentals.
Club de ski de fond Dorval, Alma: Bicycle rentals available and access is allowed on cross-country ski trails (not those for skate skiing).